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Senator Barack Obama: Escalation Is Not The Answer

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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:34 AM
Original message
Senator Barack Obama: Escalation Is Not The Answer
http://www.barackobama.com/action/escalation_is_not_the... /

Escalation Is Not The Answer

As the New Year approaches, we are told that the President is considering the deployment of tens of thousands of additional troops to Iraq in the desperate hope of subduing the burgeoning civil war there.

This is a chilling prospect that threatens to compound the tragic mistakes he has already made over the last four years.

In 2002, I strongly opposed the invasion of Iraq because I felt it was an ill-conceived venture which I warned would "require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undermined cost, with undetermined consequences." I said then that an invasion without strong international support could drain our military, distract us from the war with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and further destabilize the Middle East.

Sadly, all of those concerns have been borne out.

Today, nearly three thousand brave young Americans are dead, and tens of thousands more have been wounded. Rather than welcomed "liberators," our troops have become targets of the exploding sectarian violence in Iraq. Our military has been strained to the limits. The cost to American taxpayers is approaching $400 billion.

Now we are faced with a quagmire to which there are no good answers. But the one that makes very little sense is to put tens of thousands more young Americans in harm's way without changing a strategy that has failed by almost every imaginable account.

In escalating this war with a so-called "surge" of troops, the President would be overriding the expressed concerns of Generals on the ground, Secretary Powell, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and the American people. Colin Powell has said that placing more troops in the crossfire of a civil war simply will not work. General John Abizaid, our top commander in the Middle East, said just last month that, "I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future." Even the Joint Chiefs of Staff have expressed concern, saying that a surge in troop levels "could lead to more attacks by al-Qaeda" and "provide more targets for Sunni insurgents." Once again, the President is defying good counsel and common sense.

As I said more than a month ago, while some have proposed escalating this war by adding thousands of more troops, there is little reason to believe that this will achieve these results either. It's not clear that these troop levels are sustainable for a significant period of time, and according to our commanders on the ground, adding American forces will only relieve the Iraqis from doing more on their own. Moreover, without a coherent strategy or better cooperation from the Iraqis, we would only be putting more of our soldiers in the crossfire of a civil war.

There is no military solution to this war. Our troops can help suppress the violence, but they cannot solve its root causes. And all the troops in the world won't be able to force Shia, Sunni, and Kurd to sit down at a table, resolve their differences, and forge a lasting peace. In fact, adding more troops will only push this political settlement further and further into the future, as it tells the Iraqis that no matter how much of a mess they make, the American military will always be there to clean it up.

That is why I believe we must begin a phased redeployment of American troops to signal to the government and people of Iraq, and others who have a stake in stabilizing the country - that ours is not an open-ended commitment. They must step up. The status quo cannot hold.

In November, the American people sent a resounding message of change to the President. But apparently that message wasn't clear enough.

I urge all Americans who share my grave concerns over this looming decision to call, write or email the President, and make your voices heard. I urge you to tell them that our soldiers are not numbers to add just because someone couldn't think of a better idea, they are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our neighbors and friends who are willing to wave goodbye to everything they've ever known just for the chance to serve their country. Our men and women in uniform are doing a terrific job under extremely difficult conditions. But our government has failed them so many times over the last few years, and we simply cannot afford to do it again. We must not multiply the mistakes of yesterday, we must end them today.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
1. He is right.
And El Loco will be hearing from this citizen.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. I've had an earworm from the 60s for a couple of weeks
from Tom Paxton, I think:

Lyndon Johnson told the nation
Have no fear of escalation
I am trying everyone to please

Though it isn't really war
I'm sending fifty thousand more
To help save Vietnam from the Vietnamese

We old farts know how this one will end, we've been through it before. We just wonder how many of our kids and grandkids these monsters will kill before we manage to get rid of them.
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rebel with a cause Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. I'm an oldie and I remember,
plus I did research on Johnson's escalation in both Vietnam and the 1965 Dominican Republic civil war. Funny thing about these Texans, different parties with different ideas about social problems at home, but a lot in common when it comes to military aggression.

bush/cheney/rove learned from Johnson and Nixon's mistakes though. No television coverage of the war, showing our soldiers being killed. No pictures of our torturing and executing people, except for the ones the soldiers took themselves. No press coverage of the protest here at home, mustn't let the soldiers know there are people here that don't support the war and want them to come home.

Yeah, just like the sixties but not. Funny how loss of just some of your freedom changes things, imagine what it will be like when and if all of them disappear.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. Paxton was great! I was just plugged into Ochs. Must be something in the air...
This one may still be relevant -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5pgrKSwFJE
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peacebird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. I like this man. The more I read from him, the more I like him.
He comes across as intelligent, well-spoken, reasonable. What a refreshing change from boosh/cheney.....

kicked and rec'd!
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Lawrence Donating Member (42 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
4. all I have to say is
<---- check the avatar
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Welcome to DU Lawrence! Do you know if
Obama has yet made a statement about whether he will support de-funding the Iraq Occupation? In my opinion, Kucinich is right on this - the only way the Democrats can take responsibility and end this nightmare is to refuse to fund the occupation. Provide enough money to get the troops/equipment out and then get out!
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Benhurst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. ...
:thumbsup:
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Lawrence Donating Member (42 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. subject
hey thanks for the greetings everyone

to answer your question, this thread has given me the biggest update on Barack's position on the iraq war, to tell you the truth. Right now I'm focusing more not on his war statements, but on his official declaration for intention to run for president. I believe he plans on announcing some time soon after the new year, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #13
23. Greetings and Welcome to DU, Lawrence. Come join us in the Obama group, if you like.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Hi Lawrence!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
7. too bad he does NOT call for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq nt
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Or wouldn't vote for withdrawal last June when every lawmaker in DC knew Iraq was in Civil War.
And they knew Iraq was in Civil War at the beginning of the year.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Good point. Obama voted for the Levin bill with Bayh, Biden, Dodd, Clinton and others.
All of the 13 Senators who voted for the Kerry amendment also voted for the Levin amendment, after their amendment was voted down. The Levin amendment was also rejected.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/r...

Only 12 Senators stood with John Kerry--one of whom was Russ Feingold. Here is the list of the 13 Senators who voted for the Kerry amendment.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/r...
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. By then it was the Kerry-Feingold bill.
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 06:40 PM by blm
So I give shared credit there.

Biggest point is that they all KNEW Iraq was in Civil War for several months before this vote, but they pretended it wasn't because they did NOT want to put themselves on the line to vote for a REAL withdrawal.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Agree with your assessment. It shows a decided lack of courage, leadership on their part.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. what do you think he means by phased redeployment?
We can't withdraw them tomorrow, all at once. There has to be an orderly process.
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Phased? We can withdraw them in a few months. and it is not Iraqis
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 05:06 PM by Tom Joad
"making a mess" it is the US imperialist forces making a killing.
Even so, glad at least he strongly opposes an escalation. Hope Harry Reid is listening.
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illinoisprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
16. This is an example of why I am supporting Obama
He has a depth of understanding of the issues and takes stands. He doesn't flail his arms around and make noises about it. Doesn't showboat and make a fool of himself. Though some think because he doesnt' he doesn't stand for anything.
I , too, have been waiting and looking for any sign of if he is running. I feel he will make his dicission known in the next 2 or 3 weeks. When he does, many of us will be on pins and needles just hoping...
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. Please see blm's posts above re Obama's willingness to take a stand when it's on the record.
Edited on Sat Dec-30-06 09:50 AM by flpoljunkie
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rebel with a cause Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. I am not here to defend Barack Obama,
Edited on Sat Dec-30-06 11:08 AM by rebel with a cause
he does not need me to do so. I like Obama, I do not always agree with him, but I still like and respect the man and that is more than I can say for some other candidates. Is he perfect, of course not, no man is. If people are looking for the perfect person to support/vote for, I suggest they look elsewhere, because no where on this earth is there someone who has done what we may consider to be the right thing every time they could. If there was such a person then it would be easy for us to agree on who we would support. There are no real "Christ/Saviors" running for election in 2008. (nor is there going to be any)

Oh I know, persons being pushed on this web site are being hailed as just such, but if I wanted to I could point to flaws of every one or them. I'm not going to, because it is not beneficial to do so. I had one day of weakness where I did speak out against a candidate, and I wish I had not because now I'm tempted more and more to continue doing so and I will not allow myself to do so. Now I walk away from the candidate worshiping posts and sit on my hands to keep from posting.

I like Obama, but I am not yet a supporter of his for 2008 because 1) he has not declared himself to be a candidate 2)I do not know who else will declare themselves a candidate 3)I try to keep an open mind until all the candidates that I might support have made up their minds about running.

I am sure of who I do not like, but I will remain quiet on who those persons might be. But let me make this clear to anyone who might read this post, I was turned off on someone I supported in 2004 because of their over zealous supporters. So imagine how I feel when supporters of someone I don't like come across as empty headed 'human' worshipers. I am sure there are others out there like me, so if anyone wants to win support for their person keep this in mind. Don't put down other candidates (as I try to do the same)and don't make your (you meant in the same sense as the royal we)candidate out to be something more than they are. (or even as much as you, as a worshiper of theirs, think they are.) Okay, now I will make my retreat.
:hide: (edited for grammar)
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I like Obama, too, but I was disappointed with his voting against Kerry Feingold bill. Votes matter.
I do hope that he decides to run for the Democratic nomination, although I wonder about his willing to take a controversial stand when it counts.
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rebel with a cause Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. I understand your position, and my post was not to you personally.
Although I did reply to your post. It was just handy. ;-)

I am critical of even the candidates that I like, and it just throws me for a loop when other people are not. I am not going to try to change anyone else's mind on who they want to support, I believe in free choice, but neither should they try to persuade me to "fall in love" with their candidate. The coming election should not be a popularity contest, we should all think long and hard about who should be the next president of the USA. I like several of the people that have yet to throw their hats into the ring, and I will wait until all the candidates are known before I pick my choice. To be truthful, I prefer Obama for VP if the right candidate comes forward who can win the presidency. I like Kucinich, but like all the other candidates, there are problems there also. I'm not sure who I want for president, but I guess if it is left up to Obama and some that out there now, I'll pick Obama. :shrug:

At least I have met him and am not afraid of him.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #21
28. I realize that and I agree that we ought to look at candidates with a critical eye.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. He has taken a stand. While you may not agree with it, it's clearly disingenuous
to say he has not taken a stand.

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rebel with a cause Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Illinois?
Jefferson County?
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Georgia.
Edited on Sat Dec-30-06 07:57 PM by jefferson_dem
First name "Jefferson" and a huge fan of the third president.

Cheers!
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rebel with a cause Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-30-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Hey Jefferson
Cheers to you. I live in Southern Illinois and thought you might be from around here. Jefferson County is north from here, but then most of Illinois is. I see you like Obama. We Southern Illinoisans kind of claim him, even though he is from Chicago and the northern section of the state.

Huh, would that president you mentioned be Thomas something? :7 I was always a fan of Lincoln. I wonder why? My name is not Lincoln, Abe or even Abby. Must be a state thing and maybe what we were taught he stood for. :shrug:
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-31-06 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #24
29. Perhaps it would have been better to have said taken a courageous or controversial stand.
I am referring to the Senate votes on the Kerry/Feingold and Levin amendments.
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